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  #1  
Old 13-09-2016, 08:34 PM
Timmo (Tim)
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Red face Newbie viewing planets

Hi everyone! I recently got a Starview 150EQ for Father's Day (the one from Australian Geo - 6").

I'm brand new to this and after reading can see there are better options out there (keep reading about 8" dobs) but determined to use this as something to get used to how this stuff works. Plus the kids wouldn't be too happy if I traded it up so soon!!!

So, I've only had a few goes since the weather here in Canberra is a bit crap at the moment but I'm trying to look at Saturn and all I see is a bright white circle. I've tried both the 20mm and 10mm eye pieces but no difference, slowly zooming all the way from one extreme to the other to focus.

Looking at the moon is great with both eye pieces, super clear but surely I should see Saturn and its rings (well, a band around it)?

I haven't had a chance to do some proper testing but thought I'd see if there is something really obvious that I'm missing here.

Any help would be greatly appreciated!

Also, any cool things to suggest I try find with this scope please send them on. I'm hoping to practice with this for a while and then upgrade to something that start seeing some cool deep space things.

Timmo
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  #2  
Old 13-09-2016, 09:41 PM
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astroron (Ron)
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Hi Timmo and welcome.
You should be able to see the rings of Saturn in your six inch and with both the eyepieces provided.
I can see the rings in my 80mm scope with a 12mm eyepiece,small but definitely see rings.
Two possible problems,one is collimation and the other is focus.
If the moon is crisp and features sharp then Saturn should be also
Don't forget Saturn won't be very big in either eyepiece so the focus will have to be spot on to get the rings sharp.
Did your scope come with a barlow lens?
If so put that in and try the 20mm eyepiece first then swap to the 10mm
Cheers
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  #3  
Old 14-09-2016, 04:59 AM
poider (Peter)
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Hi Timmo
I got the same scope for Father's day and have been busy trying to observe the universe, but we get plenty of cloud down here too (Adelaide), I can see the rings in both eyepieces.
If you look up my posts you will see many pieces of advice about our scope so check them out.
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  #4  
Old 14-09-2016, 06:10 AM
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Allan_L (Allan)
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Hi Tim,
Welcome to IceInSpace

If you are focusing OK on the moon, all I can think is that what you are looking at may not really be Saturn?

The rings should be clearly discernible in your scope.

First recommendation is for you to download Stellarium
http://www.stellarium.org/

It is free and very good planetarium simulation software that will help you find and identify night sky objects.

As for upgrading, the scope you have appears to be a 6" Newtonian (on an Equatorial mount).
The 8" DOB you hear about is also a Newtonian, a little bigger but the main difference is the mount (ie a Dobsonian Mount), is easier to set-up and use (plonk & view).
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  #5  
Old 14-09-2016, 08:11 AM
Timmo (Tim)
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Hi guys,

This is why I joined this forum, straight up no nonsense advice! Thanks heaps, I was sure it was a "me" problem and that the equipment should be suitable enough to see something.

I've done a little research on collimation and found a few easy things I can do to test that out. I guess it's pretty easy for it to get out of whack on its way to the shop.

I've got a couple of apps on my iPhone that I've been using while having a fire out back with the kids (Stellarium and StarmapPro) so pretty sure I'm looking at the right thing - but a little more care and time to be absolutely positive won't hurt.

Sadly it's going to be cloudy and raining for probably around a week here but the good weather is quickly coming in so I'm looking forward to spending some hours out back getting this thing working nicely.

I'm lucky enough to be just over the ACT border on a small 20acre property, we get so many perfectly clear and dark nights out here so should be in for a bit of a treat.

Peter I'm going to check out your posts, there's so much info out there but I find a lot of people just say "upgrade" rather than give advice on the equipment you have.

Thanks again, I'll be back in a week or when I get a bit of a clear break and let you know how I go!

Timmo
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  #6  
Old 14-09-2016, 12:26 PM
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dannat (Daniel)
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bright white circle seems the focus is off -can you see the spider vane lines in the white circle also? maybe your focus is way off, stay on th 20mm ep for this - you only have a red dot finder don't you
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  #7  
Old 14-09-2016, 12:50 PM
Timmo (Tim)
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Yeah I think I was way off focus. I have to admit I didn't give it a huge amount of time to get it right, the position was way up high in the sky (I will have to get used to twisting my body in all directions!).

It only comes with a red dot finder yes.

Today I looked up some more stuff on collimation and found the mirror doesn't have a center marker on it so added my own (was much easier than expected!). That was off a bit at both ends and I am pretty confident I have it nicely lined up now. Because of where I live I have a couple of km's of paddocks to look into so I focused on a very obvious lonely dark tree stump off in the distance and then lined the red dot up to that. I find that the red dot even on the lower lit setting is a bit ordinary but it's ok for now. If there's something reasonably priced that I could replace it with that works a lot better I'm up for suggestions.

I should now have everything all lined up correctly so now I just need to wait for this crummy weather to go away, probably a few days at least by the look of it.

One last thing, am I jumping the gun by looking at these?
http://www.opticscentral.com.au/cele...l#.V9jICq1c_HF

I keep reading that better quality eye pieces make a huge difference and from other things I've read I wouldn't want to go lower than 6mm so thought this would give me a really nice range of lenses. It's expensive yes, but if it means getting a lot more use (and more enjoyable use) out of this scope I'm up for the spend.
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  #8  
Old 14-09-2016, 01:04 PM
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dannat (Daniel)
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better quality eyepieces make a good diference with a good properly collimated/cooled mirror -not a huge difference.. mostly they widen the field of view to take in more space

-however better to pick & choose rather than buy an overpriced kit like this -you could buy plossl from andrewscom.com.au or bintel for less.[most wouldn't use the coloured filters anyhow]
most are looking for wider field of view ep's say 60degree -more comfortable than plossl as your eye can be further away from the eye lens to see the image

eyepieces are personal acquired tastes, best to try a few at an astronomy night
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  #9  
Old 14-09-2016, 01:11 PM
Timmo (Tim)
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Great, thanks Dan.

I'll stick to what I have and when Stromlo eventually get back to me I'll try some different ones out before going and purchasing anything.
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  #10  
Old 14-09-2016, 01:23 PM
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dannat (Daniel)
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for your scope to get good planet detail on most nights of seeing a 5mm would be my pick, giving 150x magnification.

a med priced example would be astrotech paradigm BST explorer [same ep diff branding], roughly under $100
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  #11  
Old 15-09-2016, 10:22 AM
SkyWatch (Dean)
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The choice of eyepieces is a very subjective discussion, with pretty much everyone having different opinions!
However, while not wanting to enter into that discussion, there is a set of Celestron eyepieces for sale at the moment in the Classies section for $100 (I think the same as you have referenced, but without the box and the filters- which would rarely be used anyway): http://www.iceinspace.com.au/forum/s...d.php?t=148387
(disclaimer: I have no knowledge of the seller, I just noticed them and thought you might be interested).

- Dean
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  #12  
Old 15-09-2016, 04:48 PM
Hakjac (Henry)
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Red face

Newbie as well. got a 130mm Skywatcher Newt on EQ mount (budget for beginner) enjoying it very much. I have read that Plossl eye pieces are the way to go, together with Barlow lens. The telescope I have, seems to have a Barlow lens built in, in front of the secondary mirror. Does that mean I can't use an additional Barlow? and can I use a laser collimator?

I live on Bruny Island off Tasmania and on clear nights its fantastic. I also have a Yosco 60mmx700mm refractor (circa 1960, built in Japan) which I bought for $30, 0.965mm eye pieces and 2x Barlow. What a great telescope, so light and easy to set up and have a look.

I enjoyed Brian's article on Telescopes for beginners.

Great forum, Henry Jacobs.
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  #13  
Old 15-09-2016, 05:16 PM
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dannat (Daniel)
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collating the catadiotropic newtonian is fraught with grief -most don't recommend the telescope design at all -often mirrors give below par views & are quite difficult to align
vixen did make a good one 20yrs ago but after that is often cheap scope makers who use the design
you could use a barrow but prob not the best
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  #14  
Old 15-09-2016, 06:14 PM
Hakjac (Henry)
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Thanks Daniel, so far every thing going OK, very happy
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  #15  
Old 17-09-2016, 08:58 PM
Timmo (Tim)
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Well fellas, after getting home after taking the family out for dinner and a few beers in I noticed it's an nice clear night so let the telescope cool down for about half an hour and gave Saturn another crack.

AWESOME!

I think I need a Barlow 2x just to make it a bit bigger but the kids (and even the wife who now thinks I'm a major nerd) couldn't believe what they were seeing!

Thanks heaps for all the advice, this is definitely something I think will take over my nights.

I agree that I don't think I will use the filters much or at all. I have a green one for the moon but much prefer the bright white look when it's properly focused. Getting a set of reasonable eye pieces for this scope will probably be the way to go then when I upgrade I'll focus on really good ones for that scope.
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  #16  
Old 17-09-2016, 09:44 PM
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astroron (Ron)
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I'm glad you have got things sorted out Timmo.
Saturn is a WOW object to get started with.
Keep an eye on the Buy Swap and Sell for eyepieces
You can save some good dollars.
Keep on looking up.
Cheers
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  #17  
Old 27-09-2016, 08:34 AM
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seeing saturn "live" for yourself through an eyepiece is always a treat. its never not a "wow" moment for me. Jupiters bands and moons are great too, ditto Orion nebula when its in our skies. The Jewelbox cluster is an easy target to hunt down and I fell in love with it immediately, i think it was the first object outside our solar system I went outside to find.
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  #18  
Old 27-09-2016, 10:32 AM
Nath2099
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Hi all, if I could interject for one second, I have a similar issue to Timmo. Looking at Saturn on Saturday night between the clouds, all i could see was a spot the size of a star with a ring around it, cool and all, but... tiny. This was with a Espirit 120 with a 12.5mm eyepiece. What do I need to make it bigger?

Thanks,
Nathan.
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  #19  
Old 27-09-2016, 10:50 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nath2099 View Post
Hi all, if I could interject for one second, I have a similar issue to Timmo. Looking at Saturn on Saturday night between the clouds, all i could see was a spot the size of a star with a ring around it, cool and all, but... tiny. This was with a Espirit 120 with a 12.5mm eyepiece. What do I need to make it bigger?

Thanks,
Nathan.
This is a typical view, and one of the biggest problems in astronomy is the expectation of seeing planets just like the awesome hubble space telescope images. The reality is you're seeing what most of us get to see.


To make it bigger you need a "smaller" eyepiece, eg 8mm or 6mm. However as you go smaller the image degrades faster as you are magnifying the distortion of our atmosphere too. A Barlow gives you a double or triple size increase but again image degradation. If you are using the eyepieces that came with your telescope then upgrading to quality ones will help image quality, but not extra magnification, a cheap 12.5mm eyepiece will give you the same size planets as an expensive one. I've rarely been able to go below 8mm because of atmospheric conditions so if you jump on ebay and buy the cheapest 4mm eyepiece you'll be disappointed.

Even if you throw $10k at a new telescope you'll likely be disappointed, planets are still small. You won't get jupiter filling the eyepiece with sharp clarity (I don't think).
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  #20  
Old 27-09-2016, 11:13 AM
Nath2099
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I wasn't expecting to see a Hubble quality image, but was hoping for something more like this:
http://www.cloudynights.com/topic/49...0-triplet-apo/

turns out he was using a 5 x Barlow lens... doesn't say what size eyepiece though. I might get one of those and have another try.
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